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“Home and Garden Expo of Oklahoma $500 A Day” Contest Rules July 27th – 29th, 2018

OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY

ELIGIBILITY: Home and Garden Expo of Oklahoma $500 A Day (“Contest”) is open only to legal U.S. residents of OK, who are 18 years of age or older. Employees, directors, officers, and agents of Cox Media Group (“Sponsor”), their respective parent companies, divisions, dealers, affiliates, limited liability companies, subsidiaries, distributors, advertising and promotional agencies, and suppliers involved in the Contest, as well as the members of each of their immediate families (spouse, parents, children, siblings and in-laws) and persons residing in the same household of such individuals are not eligible to enter or win.

 

Employees, directors, officers, and agents of Home and Garden Expo of Oklahoma exhibitors (“Exhibitor”), their respective parent companies, divisions, dealers, affiliates, limited liability companies, subsidiaries, distributors, advertising and promotional agencies, as well as the members of each of their immediate families (spouse, parents, children, siblings and in-laws) and persons residing in the same household of such individuals are not eligible to enter or win. 

 

Void where prohibited by law. 

 

No Purchase is necessary. Grand Prize winner(s) can only win once during the Sweepstakes period. Only one winner per household is permitted.

 

SWEEPSTAKES PERIOD: The Contest begins at or about 12:00:00 PM CST on Friday, July 27th, 2018 and ends at 5:00:00 PM CST on Sunday, July 29th, 2018 (“Contest Period”). One Grand Prize winner will be selected each day.

 

HOW TO ENTER: Beginning July 27th, 2018 through July 29th, 2018, visit the KRMG Booth at the Home and Garden Expo of Oklahoma at the River Spirit Expo on the Tulsa County Fairgrounds at 21st and Yale Avenue in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There is no charge for admission and no charge for parking. The Expo is open on Friday, July 27th from 12pm CST until 8pm CST, on Saturday, July 28th from 10am CST until 8pm CST, and on Sunday, July 29th from 11am CST until 5pm CST. All adults aged eighteen (18) and over, who meet the eligibility requirements may complete a registration blank to enter the contest. Individuals may only register themselves. One registration is permitted per adult per day of the contest. Any individual found to be registering more than one time or registering anyone but themselves will be immediately disqualified.

 

 

WINNER SELECTION: A winner will be selected in a random drawing conducted at the end of each day of the contest period from among all eligible entries received. All decisions on all matters relating to the determination of winners for this contest are final. 

ODDS OF WINNING: The odds of winning are slim and will depend on the total number of eligible contestants who register during any contest occasion.

GRAND PRIZE: A maximum of three (3) grand prizes will be awarded. Each Grand Prize will consist of $500.00. Grand prize winners must accept delivery of prize from sponsor, or as otherwise instructed by sponsor. All other costs related to prize delivery and acceptance are the responsibility of winner including but not limited to taxes, title, insurance, license, and registration fees. All properly claimed prizes will be awarded. Prizes are non-transferable, and no cash redemption or prize substitution allowed, except at sponsor’s sole discretion or as provided herein. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value if an advertised prize becomes unavailable. Grand prize winners will be required to complete and return a W-9 form, affidavit of eligibility, and liability/publicity release, and present a valid driver’s license and social security card before prize will be awarded. Winners of prizes greater than $600.00 will be issued a 1099 form reflecting the value of the prizes and are responsible for paying all income taxes on their prize. Each Grand Prize is valued at $500.00

WINNER NOTIFICATION AND ACCEPTANCE: Winners will be notified via phone or e-mail by a Cox Media Group representative informing them when their prize will be ready to claim. Winners will be contacted by phone or e-mail on or about Tuesday, August 1st. We will attempt to contact winners three (3) times using the contact information given at registration, after which their prize will be forfeited. Once winners have been given notification they will have 30 days (business and weekend) to come to the Cox Media Group Offices during business hours and complete a prize-winning paperwork. Each winner must provide an Oklahoma driver’s license and sign a tax release from before the said prize will be released. Prizes are nontransferable. The winner must be present at the SPONSOR studios to complete his or her own paperwork. Once the winner’s paperwork has been completed, Cox Media Group will submit a payment request through our corporate offices in Atlanta, Georgia. Payment will then be mailed to the winner at the address provided on their paperwork in approximately 60 days from the time that their paperwork is completed. Incomplete or inaccurate information on winner’s paperwork may cause delays in processing winner’s prize. No substitutions are allowed, and Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prizes of equal or greater value. Winners are solely responsible for reporting and payment of any taxes on prizes. Sponsor may require winners to complete an affidavit of eligibility, and a liability and publicity release. Failure to sign and return the affidavit or release by this date, or to comply with any term or condition of these Official Rules, may, at the discretion of sponsor, result in a winner's disqualification, the forfeiture of his/her interest in the prize. Winner will be allowed to win the contest only once during the contesting period. The standard 30-day rule does not apply for this contest. Except where prohibited, participation in the Giveaway constitutes a contestant's consent to the publication of his/her name, likeness, and biographical information in any media for any commercial or promotional purpose, without limitation or further compensation. 

NOTICE: Winner must be 18 years of age or older to claim a prize. Prize is awarded pursuant to a revocable, nontransferable license that is personal to the winner and may not be sold, resold, auctioned, bartered, assigned, exchanged, placed in commerce, transferred, given away, donated, or otherwise conveyed. A violation of these restrictions shall revoke winner’s license, and the prize will not be honored. Sponsor reserves the right to remove or to deny entry to winner if the winner violates the previous restrictions or engages in a disruptive manner or with intent to abuse, threaten or harass any other person at the event. ARV of Grand Prize: $500.00

 

PRIZE TERMS: Prize is not transferable and includes only the items specifically listed as part of prize. No substitution or cash equivalent of prize is permitted except at the sole discretion of the Sponsor. If a prize, or any portion thereof, cannot be awarded for any reason, Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prize with another prize of equal or greater value. Any portion of prize not accepted by winner will be forfeited. Federal, state, and local taxes on prize and any expenses relating to the acceptance of and use of prize not specified herein are the responsibility of winners. Sponsor will issue an IRS Form 1099-MISC for each winner whose prize is valued at $600 or more. Approximate retail values are as of the time the rules were printed and the value of a prize may fluctuate. A winner is not entitled to any difference between the ARV and the actual value of the prize at the time the prize is awarded.

PARTICIPATION: By participating in this Giveaway, contestants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the judges. In its sole discretion, sponsor reserves the right to disqualify persons found tampering with or otherwise abusing any aspect of this Giveaway. In the event the Giveaway is compromised by non-authorized human intervention, tampering, or other causes beyond the reasonable control of the sponsor, which corrupts or impairs the administration, security, fairness or proper operation of the Giveaway, sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the Giveaway. 

LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: By entering the Giveaway, contestant agrees that: (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with the Giveaway, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually without resort to any form of class action; (2) any claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the Giveaway, but in no event attorneys' fees; and (3) under no circumstances will any entrant be permitted to obtain any award for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental or consequential damages and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased and any other damages, other than damages for actual out-of-pocket expenses. 

CONSTRUCTION: All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of any contestant and any party associated with the operation of this Giveaway, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Oklahoma, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions (whether of Oklahoma, or any other jurisdiction) that would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than Oklahoma. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any such provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable, these rules shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or unenforceable provision was not contained therein. 

GENERAL RELEASE: By entering the Giveaway, contestants release Cox Media Group, Inc., their respective affiliated companies, shareholders, directors, officers, employees, representatives and agents from any liability whatsoever for any claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the Giveaway or with the acceptance, possession or use of any prize or any merchandise purchased with any prize (including, without limitation, claims, costs, injuries, losses or damages related to personal injury, damage to, loss or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light). 

SPONSOR/OPERATOR: The Giveaway is sponsored by Cox Media Group. The sponsor's decisions regarding the selection of winners and all other aspects of the Giveaway shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor will not be responsible for typographical, printing or other inadvertent errors in these Official Rules or in other materials relating to the Giveaway. Sponsor reserves the rights to revise these rules at any time during the contest period. Revisions to the rules will be broadcast on sponsor, and will be available at www.krmg.com and at the Cox Media Group Offices at 2625 S. Memorial Drive, Tulsa, OK, 74129, during regular business hours. If you have any questions regarding this Giveaway, please contact Cox Media Group Promotions, 2625 S. Memorial Drive, Tulsa, OK, 74129.

ADDITIONAL TERMS: Incomplete entries or entries that fail to include birthdate will be deemed ineligible. Sponsor is not responsible for late, lost, misdirected, mutilated, incomplete, or illegible entries. Sponsor is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate entry information whether caused by entrant or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest, or by any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of the entries. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for undeliverable text messages resulting from filtration of a user’s internet service provider or wireless phone carrier network. Sponsor is also not responsible for any technical problems, malfunctions of any telephone service, computer systems, servers, providers, hardware/software, lost or unavailable network connections or failed, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmission that may affect the ability of consumers to participate, or for any damage to any participant’s computer system/software related to or resulting from participation in this Contest. Sponsor is not responsible for any change of email address, mailing address and/or telephone number of entrants. Participants may not enter more than the maximum number of times allowed with multiple cellular phone numbers. Any participant who attempts to enter with multiple identities or uses any device or artifice to register/enter multiple times will be disqualified at Sponsor's sole discretion. In the event of a dispute regarding the identity of a winning entrant, the entry will be deemed made by the authorized account holder of the phone number from which a Text Message Entry was sent (i.e. the natural person assigned to the number by a phone service provider). Potential winner may be required to provide Sponsor with proof that he/she is the authorized account holder of the phone number associated with the winning entry. Sponsor reserves the right to prohibit the participation of an individual if fraud or tampering is suspected, or if the individual fails to comply with any requirement of participation as stated herein or with any provision in these Official Rules. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE/PHONE SERVER OR UNDERMINE THE CONTENT OR LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS CONTEST IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAW AND, SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR WILL DISQUALIFY ANY SUCH ENTRANT, AND SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) AND OTHER REMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Proof of submission of an entry will not be deemed to be proof of receipt by Sponsor. Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical, technical, or other error in the Contest offer, administration of the Contest or in the announcement of prize winner. In the event of a printing/production/typographical error, irregular or invalid code/message or equipment error, Cox Media Group, their respective parent companies, their distributors, alcohol beverage retailers, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, nor their respective agents or agencies shall have any liability. In no event will more than the number of prizes stated in these Official Rules be awarded. If, for any reason, more prize notifications are sent (or more claims are received) than the number of prizes offered, as set forth in these Official Rules, Sponsor reserves the right to award the intended number of prizes through a random drawing from among all eligible prize claims received. In the event Sponsor is prevented from continuing with the Contest or the integrity and/or feasibility of the Contest is severely undermined by any event beyond the control of Sponsor, including but not limited to fire, flood, epidemic, earthquake, explosion, labor dispute or strike, act of God or public enemy, satellite or equipment failure, riot or civil disturbance, war (declared or undeclared), terrorist threat or activity, or any federal, state or local government law, order, or regulation, order of any court or jurisdiction, infection by computer virus, unauthorized intervention, technical failures or other cause not reasonably within the control of Sponsor (each a “Force Majeure” event or occurrence), Sponsor shall have the right, in its sole discretion, to abbreviate, modify, suspend, cancel or terminate the Contest without any further obligation. If Sponsor, in its discretion, elects to alter this Contest as a result of a Force Majeure event, a notice will be posted on www.KRMG.com/contests. In the event of cancellation, Sponsor will award the prizes in a random drawing from among all valid and eligible entries received up to the time of such cancellation, providing a sufficient number of entries are received. By participating in this Contest and submitting an entry, each entrant agrees: (i) to be bound by these Official Rules, including all entry requirements; (ii) to hold Sponsor, and each of their respective parent, representatives, directors, officers, agents, divisions, dealers, affiliates, limited liability companies, subsidiaries, distributors, advertising and promotional agencies, employees and assigns (collectively, the “Released Parties”), harmless against any and all claims, injuries, damages, losses and liability that may occur, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from the participation in the Contest or from the receipt or use of any prize or any travel or activity related to the receipt or use of any prize; and (iii) that Released Parties have neither made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation or guarantee, expressed or implied, in fact or in law relative to any prize, including but not limited to its quality, mechanical condition or fitness for a particular purpose. Winner, by acceptance of a prize, grants to Sponsor and its designees the right to use winner's name, address (city and state of residence), photograph, voice, statements and/or other likeness and prize information in perpetuity for purposes of advertising and trade in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, throughout the world, without further compensation, or consideration, notification or permission, unless prohibited by law. Further, in such dispute, under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for and hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages, including reasonable attorney’s fees, other than participant’s actual out of pocket expenses (i.e. costs associated with entering this Contest), and participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased. In the event there is a discrepancy or inconsistency between disclosures or other statements contained in any Contest materials and the terms and conditions of the Official Rules, the Official Rules shall prevail, govern and control. Please see the privacy policy located at http://www.KRMG.com/contests for details of Sponsor's policy regarding the use of personal information collected in connection with this Contest.

 

RULES REQUEST: For a copy of the official rules, log onto http://www.KRMG.com/contests.

 

WINNER LIST: For the name of the winner, available after August 7th,2018 send a self-addressed stamped envelope, postmarked by 8/31/2018, to: Home and Garden Expo of Oklahoma $500 a Day Sweepstakes- Request Winner List – 2625 S. Memorial Drive, Tulsa, OK, 74129.

 

Read More
  • Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum held a news conference today (Tuesday) to warn people about potential flooding, as the Army Corps of Engineers started releasing more water out of the Keystone Dam. At 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, the outflow from Keystone Dam increased to 160,000 cubic feet of water per second, which is right around the threshold where minor flooding is possible downstream. “Our personnel, our emergency personnel, deployed throughout the city in those areas that we believe are at highest risk,” Bynum said. In Tulsa, that includes the area from 121st to 131st, from the Arkansas River to Sheridan Rd.
  • The Oklahoma Senate approved a bill on Tuesday that appropriates $8.1 billion to various state agencies. A 5% boost in funding will go toward public schools, including money for another pay raise for teachers. The bill funds an average teacher pay hike of $1,220 for most public school teachers. “This is a tremendous budget for Oklahoma because it makes huge investments in our classrooms, gives teachers and state employees another significant pay raise, puts money toward criminal justice reforms, and saves $200 million to help in the event of an economic downturn in the future,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City The general appropriations bill was approved by a 37-to-11 vote. It now heads to Governor Kevin Stitt, who is expected to sign it. Lawmakers had nearly $600 million in surplus revenue to spend this year and opted to put about $200 million of that into savings, a priority for Stitt. Democrats criticized the plan for huge boosts in spending for the governor and Legislature and not doing enough for Oklahoma's working poor 
  • Generous benefits. No copays. No need for private policies. The “Medicare for All” plan advocated by leading 2020 Democrats appears more lavish than what’s offered in other advanced countries, compounding the cost but also potentially broadening its popular appeal. While other countries do provide coverage for all, benefits vary. But the Medicare for All plan from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would charge no copays or deductibles for medical care, allowing only limited cost-sharing for certain prescription drugs. Sanders would cover long-term care home and community-based services. Dental, vision and hearing coverage would be included. The House version of the legislation is along similar lines. “Medicare for All proposals would leapfrog other countries in terms of essentially eliminating private insurance and out-of-pocket costs, and providing very expansive benefits,” said Larry Levitt, a health policy expert with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. “It raises questions about how realistic the proposals are.” Shifting the sprawling U.S. health care system to a government-run “single-payer” plan is one of the top issues in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, but the candidates are divided. Some have endorsed Sanders’ call, while others want to expand coverage within the current mix of private and government insurance. Independent studies estimate Medicare for All would dramatically increase government spending, from $25 trillion to $35 trillion or more over 10 years. It stands no chance with Republicans controlling the White House and the Senate, but it is getting hearings in the Democratic-led House.
  • The tornado warnings expired around 8:00 Tuesday morning. A north Tulsa homeowner was rescued after a downed tree cut off the house. Fortunately, the homeowner only suffered an arm injury. Many trees are down across the city and roads are closed due to flooding. Multiple departures and arrivals were delayed or canceled at Tulsa International Airport Monday morning.  No immediate reports of significant storm-related damage at TIA.  Thousands of PSO customers lost power. The tornado threat may be decreasing, but we’re not out of danger just yet. Tulsa Public Schools closed schools Tuesday due to flooding and road conditions. Tune to NEWS 102.3 and AM740 KRMG for the latest of the severe weather threat.  
  • Tulsa Police say a suspect has been arrested in Tulsa's 26th homicide for the year. 20-year old Kaleb Young was arrested by Warrants Detectives outside his home at 1600 N. Boston Pl. on Monday's murder. The victim's family has not been contacted. Young was transported to Detective Division and will be booked in on one count of first degree murder and three counts of Shooting with Intent to Kill. One of the other three victims is not expected to live, but is still alive at this point.

Washington Insider

  • On the eve of talks with Congressional Democrats at the White House on financing plans for a major infrastructure bill, President Donald Trump told top Democrats that before agreeing to any plan for roads and bridges, he first wants the House and Senate to approve a new trade deal involving the U.S., Mexico and Canada. 'Before we get to infrastructure, it is my strong view that Congress should first pass the important and popular USMCA trade deal,' the President wrote in a letter to the House Speaker and Senate Democratic Leader on Tuesday. 'Once Congress has passed USMCA, we should turn our attention to a bipartisan infrastructure package,' Mr. Trump added. Prospects for the updated NAFTA agreement - which still has not been submitted to the Congress for a vote - seemed to improve last week when GOP Senators forced the President to roll back tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from Mexico and Canada, allowing the White House to focus even more on getting support from Democrats for the new trade deal. 'It will benefit farmers, manufacturing workers, unions, and businesses throughout our great nation,' the President added in his letter. On infrastructure, agreement between the White House and Democrats on how to fund up to $2 trillion in new projects remains as hazy as it was several weeks ago when the two sides met, as the simple issue of money has derailed efforts for well over a decade to move large road and bridge packages through Congress. While Mr. Trump has talked about a 'big and bold infrastructure bill,' his letter only talked about how Democrats need to come up with how to fund the cost. 'It would be helpful if you came to tomorrow's meeting with your infrastructure priorities and specifics regarding how much funding you would dedicate to each,' the President wrote - without giving any guidance on the details of his plan. Democrats said the same thing in return. “On Wednesday, we look forward to hearing the President’s plan for how to pay for this package,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer in a joint statement. “Three weeks ago, we were pleased to have had a productive meeting with the President, during which he agreed to a $2 trillion plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure and to provide ideas for pay-fors” - that's a term used in Washington to describe how you're going to 'pay for' something. The most direct way to do that would be to raise federal gasoline taxes - but those have not been changed since 1993, and are a difficult sale for members of both parties. Trump White House budget officials said earlier this year that they would let Congress 'fill in the blanks' on the cost of an infrastructure bill.
  • With former White House Counsel Don McGahn defying a subpoena for his testimony in Congress on the findings of the Muller Report, there was a noticeable jump on Tuesday in the halls of the Capitol in the number of Democrats publicly demanding that their leaders take the next step - to start impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. 'The facts laid out in the Mueller report, coupled with this administration’s ongoing attempts to stonewall Congress, leave us no other choice,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO). 'It is time for Congress to officially launch an impeachment inquiry against the President of the United States.' 'More of my colleagues are coming around, reluctantly, to the reality that impeachment is necessary, unavoidable, and urgent,' said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA). 'This week feels like the tipping point.' 'I personally feel like we cannot tolerate this level of obstruction,' said Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX), as a number of new - and more liberal Democrats - embraced the idea of impeachment more publicly today. 'Failure to impeach now is neglect of due process,' said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Republicans said this was nothing more than political theater. 'Their single-minded goal is political revenge on someone who beat them in an election they thought they had won,' said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). 'The American people don't want impeachment,' said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). 'But the Democrats are so angry that our President is succeeding and so desperate to please their base that they'll do it anyway.' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has warned her rank-and-file away from impeachment for months, trying to keep the focus more on issues like health care. But after weeks of watching the White House directly tell Congress that it has no power to investigate on a range of topics - from the President's tax returns, to his past financial records, and issues related to the Russia investigation - there is a sense in the Capitol of a building desire to start a more formal investigation into Mr. Trump. 'No one is above law. It's time to start an impeachment inquiry,' said Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA).
  • The struggle between Democrats in the House and President Donald Trump over the Russia investigation intensified on Monday with the White House telling former Counsel Don McGahn not to honor a subpoena for  his testimony on Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, as Democrats said it was all part of a broad effort the President and the Trump Administration to stonewall Congress about the Mueller Report and other investigations. In a letter to Democrats, McGahn's lawyer William Burck said, 'the President has unambiguously directed my client not to comply with the Committee’s subpoena for testimony.' 'Under these circumstances, and also conscious of the duties he, as an attorney, owes to his former client, Mr. McGahn must decline to appear at the hearing,' the letter added. Democrats said they would still convene the hearing at 10 am EDT on Tuesday, as they held out the possibility of finding McGahn in contempt, just as the same committee voted to find Attorney General William Barr in contempt for refusing to honor a subpoena for an unredacted version of the Mueller Report. Democrats wanted testimony from McGahn because of the information he gave to investigators for the Mueller investigation, in which McGahn detailed repeated demands by President Trump to oust the Special Counsel. While President Trump has sternly denied that he ever ordered McGahn to get rid of Mueller, the evidence offered by the Special Counsel painted a different picture. McGahn testified that the President called him on June 17, 2017 - about a month after Mueller had been named as Special Counsel - and pressed for Mueller to be ousted, an order that McGahn repeatedly ignored. On page 300 of the Mueller Report, 'McGahn recalled the President telling him 'Mueller has to go' and 'Call me back when you do it.''  The Mueller Report described McGahn - who reportedly answered questions for 30 hours over multiple interviews - as a 'credible witness with no motive to lie or exaggerate.' McGahn also claimed in his testimony that once news of the President's request was reported in the press, Mr. Trump then pressed McGahn to dispute the veracity of the story that the President had pressed for Mueller's ouster. McGahn refused to do what the President had asked. The White House based its refusal for McGahn to testify on a new 15 page legal opinion from the Justice Department, which said McGahn - as a former top adviser - was under no requirement to testify before Congress. 'The President's immediate advisers are an extension of the President and are likewise entitled to absolute immunity from compelled congressional testimony,' the Office of Legal Counsel opinion stated. In summary, the Justice Department said simply, 'we conclude that Mr. McGahn is not legally required to appear before the Committee.' Democrats denounced the decision, and charged it was just adding more evidence to what they say is a cover up, focused on obscuring obstruction of justice by President Trump. 'This move is just the latest act of obstruction from the White House that includes its blanket refusal to cooperate with this Committee,' said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. 'The President is intimidating witnesses and stonewalling the American people and the rule of law. Congress and the American people deserve answers from Mr. McGahn,' said Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA). '(T)he White House Counsel serves interests of the American people, not the President, and their conversations do not have the protection of blanket attorney-client privilege,' said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). 'It’s pretty clear what the Trump Administration is doing here,' said Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), 'they’re trying to hide the facts from the American people.' Democrats have promised to move forward to hold McGahn in Contempt of Congress - but there has also been discussion of other penalties, from what is known as 'inherent contempt' - which could involve levying fines against those who refuse to cooperate with investigations by Congress. 'The cover-up continues,' said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). 'And we will fight it.
  • In a notable break with the history of their home states, the Republican Leader of the U.S. Senate from Kentucky and a top Democrat from Virginia officially introduced a bill on Monday which would increase the minimum age to buy cigarettes and any other tobacco products from 18 to 21 years. 'Now is the time to do it,' Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said on the Senate floor, as he rattled off negative statistics about cancer related to tobacco use in the Bluegrass State. 'Our state once grew tobacco like none other, and now we're being hit by the health consequences of tobacco use like none other,' McConnell said, noting the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping to those under the age of 18. 'The health of our children is literally at stake,' McConnell added. McConnell offered the bill along with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), the Vice Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in 2016, who also hails from a state with historic ties to the tobacco industry. 'Like Sen. McConnell, I come from a tobacco state,' Kaine said in remarks on the Senate floor, joining the Majority Leader in giving a history lesson about his state, and the influence of tobacco. 'We're backsliding,' Kaine said, nothing the recent increase in youth tobacco use, as he joined in blaming e-cigarettes and vaping. 'We encourage the states to pass their own laws,' Kaine added, as he said the new age limit would also be applied to members of the military services. “Raising the sales age for tobacco nationwide is one of several policy changes that are essential to reach the tobacco endgame of eliminating tobacco use and nicotine addiction,” said Nancy Brown, the head of the American Heart Association, which offered its quick support. McConnell is running for re-election in 2020, and as the leader of the Senate, he could bring the bill up for action at any time.
  • With members of the House and Senate leaving town for a ten day break at the end of this week, the future of billions of dollars in disaster relief for victims of hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, tornadoes, and more remains in limbo in the halls of Congress, as the Senate struggles to finalize a deal, with opposition by President Donald Trump to extra aid for Puerto Rico one of the stumbling blocks. 'Now it’s time for Congress to pass the disaster relief bill,' Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) tweeted on Sunday. 'Our Panhandle communities have waited long enough,' he said, referring to the extreme damage caused by Hurricane Michael last year. But while the House has passed two different relief bills - a $14 billion package in January, and a $19 billion plan earlier this month - the Senate has been unable to come to an agreement, with money for Puerto Rico, and possible extra money to deal with the surge of immigrants along the southern border still in the mix. 'What is happening at the border is tragic, and we hope to address some of that in the supplemental that is coming, the disaster supplemental, to provide some of the resources that are needed there,' said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week. But so far, that broader deal - which would likely push the price tag of the bill over $20 billion - has not come together. Meanwhile, the Trump Administration is still holding back $16 billion in already approved disaster aid for areas hit by hurricanes in 2017, including $4 billion for Texas, and $8.2 billion for Puerto Rico. Last week, the feds released $1.4 billion in already approved disaster funding for states hit by disasters in 2018 - but left the much larger amount of 2017 money still on the shelf, even though officials have promised for months that it was about to be released. The 2018 money included $448 million for Florida, and nearly $35 million for Georgia to deal with Hurricane Michael damage - but much larger sums of aid, including money to rebuild Tyndall Air Force Base - are caught up in the disaster bill before Congress. And one of the main reasons that disaster bill has been stuck in the Senate since January is President Trump's opposition to extra aid for Puerto Rico. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to have a vote on disaster aid before the Senate leaves town for Memorial Day. 'I'm not going to be sending members of either party home to these storm and flood ravaged states without at least some action,' McConnell said. If key Senators can't reach an agreement, the latest $19.1 billion House-passed bill is ready for action on the Senate calendar. The clock is ticking on any deal - the House is scheduled to leave town by Thursday afternoon.